Wednesday, August 24, 2011

She Walks In Beauty through words of poetry & to the soundtrack of my life

Reintroduced recently to the power of poetry by the lovely Rose, who often posts something that will encourage others along their journey. Poems of life by Mary Oliver; of vastness, oneness by Pablo Neruda; or of sensuality by Octavio Paz.
"There can be no society without poetry, but society can never be realized as poetry, it is never poetic. Sometimes the two terms seek to break apart. They cannot." Octavio Paz, nobel prize winner
In the book, she walks in beauty, which contains poetry collected by Caroline Kennedy, she talks about how a college professor challenged her with the question, "how to live a life"? How do you live a life? Turning to poems, Leap Before You Look and To Be Of Use helped her find clarity and fierceness. For me, the poem by Lord Byron that inspired the title of her book, leapt out from the page into my heart.

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!

While poetry ignites my creativity and reveals beauty I often deny resides within me. Music for me goes beyond the depth of words read or spoken. I am a keeper of songs, having one for every occasion in my life. Every city or trip I take initiates a new playlist. My Chiang Mai (Thailand) list which blared into my firmly implanted Ipod headphones everywhere I went, had everything from Willie Nelson's Uncloudy Days, Manu Chao's Me Gustas Tu, Aloe Blacc's You Make Smile, One EskimO's Amazing, Girish's Diamond's In The Sun and The Belle Brigade's Where Not to Look for Freedom. The theme centered around songs that made me happy.* All them inspired by the incredible people I encountered and played with. Now, when I hear these songs, flashes of the smiles, laughs, classes and pure joy I felt beam from my memories.
Life, like movies, should have a soundtrack. Right now, living a life means listening and moving in the direction of my heart without fear and with eyes, ears and mind wide open to the eloquent words of poetry and to the soundtrack of my life.


"you cannot find your wisdom in someone else's story.... tell me where to look for freedom?" Where Not to Look For Freedom

*I just listened to a NPR pod-cast on "songs that make you feel good", love this one:


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